Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Preview

Oooooooooo boy. Exciting times at BMT HQ. The next set of films nail two (that’s right, two!) different dates on the BMT calendar! “Egad! How is that possible? My life is shattered by the revelation. I love reading this email and perusing the BMT website and didn’t see this coming!” cry our ever-growing crowd of adoring fans. It’s very possible when you have a hot piece of IP like Superman. Even after releasing the critically reviled Superman III, Hollywood still decided to go DJ Khaled on us and bring us ANOTHER ONE: Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. These films hit the blockbuster months of June and July and are some of the classics of the major motion picture bust. Let’s go!

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) – BMeTric: 86.1

SupermanIVTheQuestforPeace_BMeT

SupermanIVTheQuestforPeace_RV

(Just like with number three this just goes up and up. And wow, that rating is just astonishingly low. The regression to the mean suggests it isn’t so funny people are going out of their way to watch and hate it, but that is just such a bad rating, it is amazing. Probably one of the worst superhero films ever.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  Superman does his bit for world peace by ridding the globe of nuclear weapons – which inspires Lex Luthor to become a black-market arms profiteer. He also challenges Superman by creating Nuclear Man. Disappointing fantasy adventure is pretty ordinary, with a second-rate special effects. Sincere performances help a lot. Reeve receives co-story credit on this one (along with 2nd unit directing).

(This plot sounds like a mess. Kind of interesting Leonard gives the fourth a better review than the third, but he is often lenient for merely lightweight or boring films. Whereas the third sounds like it rejects the Superman for a clashing and annoying alternative … this movie is going to be boring.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drvoAempNTY

(Wow. It just looks cheap. It has a cheap message, heavy handed and lame. Nuclear Man? This is two years after Rocky defeated Ivan Drago and, by the transitive property, the Soviet Union. And they give us this shit?)

Directors – Sidney J. Furie – (Known For: The Entity; Lady Sings the Blues; The Ipcress File; Future BMT: Ladybugs; My 5 Wives; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for The Jazz Singer in 1981; Notes: Martin Scorsese put the Entity at number four on his list of scariest horror films.)

Writers – Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman) – (Known For: The LEGO Batman Movie; Man of Steel; Superman Returns; Superman; The Iron Giant; Superman II; Future BMT: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: These are credits for creating the original Superman strip.)

Christopher Reeve (story) – (BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Switching Channels in 1989; Notes: I wouldn’t be surprised if his somewhat notorious involvement in the writing of the two widely panned Superman films waylaid his career somewhat. Numerous stories come out of both productions claiming he was rather difficult to work with)

Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Planet of the Apes; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; The Legend of Billie Jean; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Mighty Joe; The Jewel of the Nile; Flicka; Future BMT: The Beverly Hillbillies; Desperate Hours; Mercury Rising; The Concierge; Mona Lisa Smile; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: They have worked together for over 30 years! Originally worked in television they were paired on the cult hit The Legend of Billie Jean.)

Actors – Christopher Reeve – (Known For: Superman; The Remains of the Day; Superman II; Somewhere in Time; Noises Off…; Deathtrap; Gray Lady Down; Street Smart; Above Suspicion; Switching Channels; The Bostonians; Future BMT: Village of the Damned; Speechless; Monsignor; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Switching Channels in 1989; Notes: After his horse-riding accident that left him a quadriplegic in 1995 him and his wife founded a center devoted to helping paralyzed individuals live independently.)

Gene Hackman – (Known For: Young Frankenstein; Wyatt Earp; Unforgiven; Superman; The Birdcage; The Royal Tenenbaums; Enemy of the State; The Replacements; A Bridge Too Far; The Firm; Bonnie and Clyde; The French Connection; Get Shorty; Mississippi Burning; Antz; The Poseidon Adventure; Crimson Tide; The Conversation; Heartbreakers; The Quick and the Dead; Future BMT: Loose Cannons; Two of a Kind; Behind Enemy Lines; BMT: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Welcome to Mooseport; The Chamber; Notes: I love Gene Hackman. During out last film I noted that a lot of people assume his is dead because he retired from acting after Welcome to Mooseport. At 87 though I don’t know if he will release another book.)

Margot Kidder – (Known For: Superman; Maverick; Superman II; Black Christmas; Sisters; Delirious; The Great Waldo Pepper; Chicago, Chicago; The Annihilation of Fish; The Hi-Line; Future BMT: Halloween II; The Amityville Horror; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: As mentioned in the Superman III preview, her career was put on hold a bit due to mental health issues in the 1990s. As far as recent films, I’m actually rather interested in seeing her in Halloween II (the remake). I loved the original Halloween, and the rest of the series is somewhat notoriously bad, but it’ll fun to see Kidder in a more recent role.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $15,681,020

(Terrible. And no wonder this filled the franchise for around 15 years. So bad it apparently killed their live action Spiderman idea for over 10 years as well.)

#125 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre and #100 for the Superhero genre

superman4_superhero

(This time I’ll only show the Superhero plot. This is below The Phantom … rough stuff. That big peak is Batman, and like with Comic Book Adaptations it basically ticks up with Spiderman in 2000 and then Avengers a decade later.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 12% (5/42): The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot’s going.

(Ooooooof. So … boring. Not funny-bad like number three … just boring. Blah. At least we have number three to revel in.)

Poster – SuperSklog IV: The Quest for Cheese (B-)

superman_iv

(A lot going on here, but still nicely artistic as far as posters go. Look at the perspective. Again, wish they had a more consistent color scheme, but can’t complain too much.)

Tagline(s) – Nuclear Power. In the best hands, it is dangerous. In the hands of Lex Luthor, it is pure evil. This is Superman’s greatest battle. And it is for all of us. (F)

(Now this one actually hurts me. This tagline is my kryptonite.)

Keyword(s) – volcanic eruption; Top Ten by BMeTric: 86.1 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987); 72.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011); 68.2 Supergirl (1984); 59.6 Congo (1995); 50.5 Pompeii (I) (2014); 49.0 The Wild (2006); 48.5 Robot Monster (1953); 47.3 King Solomon’s Mines (1985); 41.3 2012 (I) (2009); 40.8 Wrath of the Titans (2012);

(Hehe, So Alvin and the Chipmunks have to deal with a volcano when they get Chipwrecked. Also great that Superman IV and Supergirl both made the cut. Some of these are amazing! Like, does anyone remember the The Wild!? Just bonkers.)

Notes – Christopher Reeve publicly regretted his involvement in the film. He stated, “Superman IV was a catastrophe from start to finish. That failure was a huge blow to my career.” (…. you wrote the movie)

According to Margot Kidder, she and Christopher Reeve did not get along during filming. Kidder states that Reeve’s ego was inflated because he co-wrote the story. (Yeah. I’ve heard other interviews which suggested a bit of the same from the beginning of the series as the hot young guy chosen to play Superman)

Wes Craven was set to direct, but was replaced after creative differences with star Christopher Reeve. (What?)

The failure of this film at the box office prompted The Cannon Group Inc., to cancel a planned production of “Spider-Man”. (That would have been a hilarious disaster. Considering the effects in the superman films)

The movie’s original budget was 36 million dollars. Just before filming was to begin, The Cannon Group, Inc., which was experiencing financial problems, slashed the budget to seventeen million dollars. As a result, the filmmakers cut corners, by doing things like re-using special effects. (Makes sense … again considering the effects)

When the film was cut from 134 minutes to 90 minutes, the producers considered using the deleted footage as the groundwork for a fifth film. (Holy shit, that’s a big cut!)

When Nuclear Man was being developed, Christopher Reeve was approached to play that part as Superman’s polar opposite, or a darker version of Bizarro.

Christopher Reeve agreed to play Superman for the fourth time if the studio financed his project, Street Smart (1987). (Cool. Ended up with good reviews too)

The vast majority of the external scenes were filmed in and around Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. Producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus couldn’t afford to shoot in New York City. (London, hoooooooollllla)

Nuclear Man only has eleven lines. (Ha, a wonder he didn’t get third billing like Kidder in number 3)

A scene cut out of the U.S. theatrical version featured Superman saving a group of Soviet Generals from a nuclear missile in Moscow. The scene appears on the video release, but not on the DVD. (fun fact)

Much of the special effects crew that worked on the first three films and Supergirl (1984) were hired during pre-production, but eventually left following salary disputes. (that makes sense)

In the original screenplay, by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal, Nuclear Man was able to change shape, and expand in size. (cool idea actually)

The Cannon Group, Inc., thinking that they had a potential blockbuster on their hands, cut the two-hour-plus film down to a lean ninety minutes, so that theater owners could have more screenings per day, and potentially make more money that would eventually filter back to the studio. (Wow, a slight miscalculation there…)

This is the only Superman film from the Christopher Reeve era where Clark Kent changes to Superman in a phone booth. The Superman films made since this film have not featured this signature scene yet. (THAT IS A FUN FACT)

An enlarged Daily Planet front page hanging in the Daily Planet building’s lobby reads “Superman Saves Chemical Plant from Fire.” Superman did save a chemical plant from a fire in Superman III (1983). (Cool I guess. He did)

The Cannon Group, Inc. was in severe financial trouble by the mid 80s. They bought the rights to Superman, hoping the film would save them. The finished picture ended up being another costly failure. (We’ve watched a ton of films that basically bankrupted studios)

The music track used in the deleted scenes featuring Clive Mantle as the Nuclear Man prototype, is actually the theme tune for the British children’s television show Bric-A-Brac (1980). (What?! I’m loving these facts!)

Before Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) was released, The Cannon Group, Inc. began planning a fifth film, directed by Albert Pyun. When Cannon went bankrupt, Superman’s film rights reverted to Ilya Salkind and Alexander Salkind. Ilya wrote a story for a fifth film with Cary Bates and Mark Jones, in which Superman died, and was resurrected in the bottled city Kandor. It was not an adaptation of the famous “Death and Return of Superman” storyline, which it predated by about two years. (Kind of cool idea. A lot of people attached to this disaster of a film had “cool” ideas that went anywhere)

Robert Beatty (U.S. President) previously played the Tanker Commander in Superman III (1983). (A always love fictional president facts)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Mariel Hemingway)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Visual Effects (Harrison Ellenshaw, John Evans)

Superman III Preview

Oooooooooo boy. Exciting times at BMT HQ. The next set of films nail two (that’s right, two!) different dates on the BMT calendar! “Egad! How is that possible? My life is shattered by the revelation. I love reading this email and perusing the BMT website and didn’t see this coming!” cry our ever-growing crowd of adoring fans. It’s very possible when you have a hot piece of IP like Superman. Even after releasing the critically reviled Superman III, Hollywood still decided to go DJ Khaled on us and bring us ANOTHER ONE: Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. These films hit the blockbuster months of June and July and are some of the classics of the major motion picture bust. Let’s go!

Superman III (1983) – BMeTric: 67.9

SupermanIII_BMeT

SupermanIII_RV

(With some fits and starts this has got a serious BMeTric going now. This has had a pretty solidly low and steady sub-5 rating for years and years now, which I think suggests it will be quite low. Very possibly entertainingly bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Appalling sequel trashes everything that Superman is all about for the sake of cheap laughs and a costarring role for Richard Pryor, as a computer operator who unwittingly gives villainous Vaughn a chance to conquer the Man of Steel. Director Lestor’s opening slapstick ballet is a funny set-piece, but doesn’t belong in this movie.

(A movie not-funny comedic take on Superman? I’m in. Being a huge fan of things like Brewster’s Millions with Pryor, which is of the same era, I can already envision what this will feel like, and just how unabashedly not-Superman that seems like it would be is weirdly charming. In a bad movie sort of way.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiwduaIGVVE

(Ha! That looks so dumb. Sigh. Richard Pryor just seems so out of place. Maybe it could have worked a bit with someone else as the computer operator and pull back a bit on the comedy, but this looks like a travesty.)

Directors – Richard Lester – (Known For: Superman II; A Hard Day’s Night; The Three Musketeers; Help!; Robin and Marian; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; The Four Musketeers; How I Won the War; The Return of the Musketeers; Petulia; Cuba; The Ritz; The Knack …and How to Get It; The Mouse on the Moon; It’s Trad, Dad!; BMT: Superman III; Notes: Huge director in the 1960s he is considered by some to be the father of the music video with his two Beatles films (A Hard Day’s Night and Help!) having a similar frenetic style to the videos made a generation later on MTV.)

Writers – Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel (character created by: Superman) – (Known For: The LEGO Batman Movie; Man of Steel; Superman Returns; Superman; The Iron Giant; Superman II; Future BMT: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: They made Superman originally which is obviously where all of these credits come from.)

David Newman (screenplay) – (Known For: Superman; Bonnie and Clyde; Superman II; What’s Up, Doc?; Bad Company; Still of the Night; There Was a Crooked Man…; Future BMT: Sheena; Santa Claus: The Movie; BMT: Superman III; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for Sheena in 1985; Notes: He was at one point the editor of Esquire magazine, this was before he made a major turn to screenwriting.)

Leslie Newman (screenplay) – (Known For: Superman; Superman II; Future BMT: Santa Claus: The Movie; BMT: Superman III; Notes: Also a cookbook author writing Feasts: Menus for Home-Cooked Celebrations. She was married to David Newman until his death in the early 2000s.)

Actors – Christopher Reeve – (Known For: Superman; The Remains of the Day; Superman II; Somewhere in Time; Noises Off…; Deathtrap; Gray Lady Down; Street Smart; Above Suspicion; Switching Channels; The Bostonians; Future BMT: Village of the Damned; Speechless; Monsignor; BMT: Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Switching Channels in 1989; Notes: Sadly he might be equally well-known for playing Superman and for subsequently becoming a quadriplegic following a horse riding accident.)

Richard Pryor – (Known For: Lost Highway; Silver Streak; Stir Crazy; The Muppet Movie; Car Wash; Lady Sings the Blues; California Suite; Blue Collar; Uptown Saturday Night; Wild in the Streets; The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings; Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling; Future BMT: The Wiz; The Toy; Another You; Brewster’s Millions; See No Evil, Hear No Evil; BMT: Superman III; Harlem Nights; Mad Dog Time; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Superman III in 1984; Notes: Widely considered perhaps the best stand up comedian ever. He had a very up-and-down life battling depression and drug addiction. This film was only three years after he, as he says, tried to kill himself via self-immolation, although family members maintain it was due to drug-induced psychosis. Sad nonetheless, Brewster’s Millions was a staple of my childhood.)

Margot Kidder – (Known For: Superman; Maverick; Superman II; Black Christmas; Sisters; Delirious; The Great Waldo Pepper; Chicago, Chicago; The Annihilation of Fish; The Hi-Line; Future BMT: Halloween II; The Amityville Horror; BMT:Superman III; Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Notes: She also has a somewhat sad story involving mental illness, although it would seem she has since recovered and become an advocate for mental wellness. She was an avid political activist as well and has an incredible number of film and television credits to her name. She was briefly married to John Heard.)

Budget/Gross – $39 million / Domestic: $59,950,623

(Not too too bad. No wonder they made a third. I bet they were thinking “alright, if we correct a few of the issues from the dud we’ll be back to printing money in no time!”.)

#84 for the Comic Book Adaptation genre and #72 for the Superhero genre

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(I’m only showing Comic Book because these two were roughly the same. Kind of amazing that these have legit been on a roll since basically 2000 (Spiderman). There really isn’t a hiccup there, even though you could think that there would be. I guess you had Spiderman, and then X-Men, and then Marvel. This is near Hellboy … which isn’t too bad actually.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 26% (11/43): When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.

(Sounds just about right. Such a classic third-installment problem too. A different problem, but sounds a little like Spiderman 3 even. In that one they ended up with too many villains and the director went a little too heavy with the silliness … yeah roughly the same.)

Poster – SuperSklog III (B)

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(Love everything about it but the color scheme. Wish we had a dominant color to work with. Besides that, though, it’s artistic in a classic way.)

Tagline(s) – If the world’s most powerful computer can control even Superman…no one on earth is safe. (D)

(Nope. Unacceptable. Breaks every BMT rule of tagline quality. Only gets a D because it doesn’t make me ill to read it. I’m not angry, just disappointed.)

Keyword(s) – computer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 96.1 Epic Movie (2007); 94.4 Batman & Robin (1997); 89.9 Alone in the Dark (2005); 85.8 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004); 84.5 The Fog (2005); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 84.0 Home Alone 3 (1997); 81.4 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 79.1 Halloween: Resurrection (2002); 78.7 Feardotcom (2002);

(Amazing list. I would def watch this in basically the worst 24 hours of my life. I also don’t believe The Fog has anything to do with “computers”, but I would certainly watch it again to find out!)

Notes – In his autobiography, Richard Pryor admitted that he thought the screenplay for this movie was terrible, and he only accepted the role because he was offered five million dollars for it.

The first time Christopher Reeve had top billing in a Superman movie. In the first Superman (1978) film, he was behind Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman; for Superman (1980) he was behind Hackman.

Richard Donner originally planned for Tom Mankiewicz to direct the film, as he written outlines for two more Superman films. But after he was fired from Superman II (1980), Mankiewicz could no longer be involved with the franchise.

According to Ilya Salkind, an earlier version of the script included the comic book villains Brainiac and Mr. Mxyzptlk teaming up, and Superman meeting his cousin, Supergirl, which would lead to the potential Supergirl spin-off. The character of Mister Mxyzptlk was going to be in the film, with Dudley Moore in the role.

Christopher Reeve threatened not to return for this film, in protest of the treatment of Richard Donner, and also because he hated the script. With the film already in pre-production, the producers scrambled to find an actor to play Superman. John Travolta was approached, but declined. Jeff Bridges and Kurt Russell were also considered, but were also not interested. Finally, with filming a few days away from beginning, the Salkinds settled on Tony Danza in the role of Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman. Richard Lester was mortified with the casting of Danza, and pleaded for Reeve to return. Reeve eventually agreed, under the condition that he could make numerous changes to the script. The producers agreed, and Christopher Reeve reprised his role as Superman. (whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat)

The original title was “Superman vs. Superman”. The producers of Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) threatened a lawsuit, refusing to believe the Salkinds’ explanation that it was intended as a play on various “Superman vs…” comic stories. Eventually Pierre Spengler suggested that “Superman III” would be a more sensible title anyway, and the issue was dropped. (That is a horrible title anyway)

Christopher Reeve was not happy with the film, and, as with the fourth, often expressed in later interviews that he hated how this film turned out. The experience and final product was so bad, that he initially swore off ever playing the role again, only to be persuaded to make Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) in exchange for more input on the script. (Oh dear… so it came out worse)

According to the writers, the original choice to play Ross Webster was Alan Alda. They wanted an actor who could be ruthless without losing any charm. Executive Producer Ilya Salkind said in the DVD commentary, that his choice was Frank Langella. Langella later starred as Perry White in Superman Returns (2006).

The ski slope outside Ross Webster’s penthouse took three months to build at Pinewood Studios, and seventeen tons of salt was used as snow. (I wonder how much that cost)

When Gus lists his “impossible” program, it’s a series of PRINT statements. (classic)

Jennifer Jason Leigh was originally set to star as Lana Lang, but turned down the role, because she was too young. (That’s crazy. Would have been her fourth film)

The shot of the subway train entering a tunnel during the shutdown scene is actually stock footage from The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974). (Ha)

Noel Neill: Lois Lane from Adventures of Superman (1952) can be seen as an old woman on the dais in Smallville, just after Superman receives the key to the city. (fun fact)

Richard Pryor’s character steals money from his company by collecting fractions of a cent from other accounts and collecting them in his personal account. In computer crime terminology, it’s called the “salami technique.” (I call it the Da Vinci virus)

Filmed in Calgary, Alberta, home of Canada’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. It includes multiple KFC references: the Metropolis computer school payroll is handed out by a man in a Sanders-style goatee, Gus walks past a Smallville display with Kentucky Colonel outfits, Gus drags the intoxicated Brad past a closet whose open door shows a bag hanging full of KFC items, and Gus uses a “chicken in the bucket” recipe to explain to Ross why Kryptonite doesn’t kill Superman. (uhhhhhh, yes please)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Richard Pryor)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Musical Score (Giorgio Moroder)

It’s Pat Recap

Jamie

No one can figure out Pat’s gender. It’s driving the world insane. Can they figure out who and what Pat is before it’s… uh… too late? Find out in… It’s Pat!

How?! At the top we are introduced to Pat, an androgynous looking person who wanders from job to job and is generally an unpleasant asshole to be around. After once again taking up a new career, Pat meets Chris, another androgynous looking person who is not an asshole, and they fall in love. At the same time Kyle and his wife move next door and he becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of Pat’s gender. From there… pretty much nothing happens. Pat randomly becomes a love talk radio host, Chris and Pat break-up due to Pat’s immaturity, and Kyle descends into madness trying to solve Pat’s gender mystery. In the end Pat and Chris get married and Kyle is still crazy. Nothing happens! Literally nothing! And it’s only 78 minutes long! Tied with Dudley Do-Right for the shorted in BMT history.

Why?! Did I mention how literally nothing happens in this film. Pat has no motivation. This might be the only film I can recall where the main character has no motivation. Even in horror films the main characters at the very least don’t want to die. Not Pat. Nothing motivates Pat. The only motivation to be found is Kyle’s deeply disturbed obsession with discovering what gender Pat is. Some would interpret this as offensive, whereby Kyle is so entrenched in gender norms of our culture that he is unable to function without being able to label Pat (and is incapable of figuring out how to broach the subject politely). But I interpret this more as Kyle’s self-identity being shattered by finding himself in love with Pat. Without knowing what Pat is he feels like he doesn’t know a part of himself. He really doesn’t care what Pat is in the end (he would love Pat regardless), but just needs to know what it means for his own self discovery. You know what?… That still sounds kind of offensive. Is that still offensive?

What?! New What section. Here I’ll highlight some hilarious product placement in the film (another one of our favorite BMT things). While It’s Pat didn’t hawk a random beer or soft drink, it did serve as an extended music video for the 90’s alternative/lo-fi rock band Ween. That’s how little happened in this film. They were able to have two extended musical scenes by the band Ween and still come in under 80 minutes.

Who?! Ween was the biggest cameo, but not It’s Pat’s most acclaimed. That honor goes to Camille Paglia, a well regarded feminist thinker and academic. She unexpectedly shows up in a bizarre sequence where Pat’s engagement party karaoke video is screened on national television and she comes in to comment on it. Ween and Camille Paglia… interesting choices for a film that aims to say nothing of significance.

Where?! Easy breezy LA living for It’s Pat. Pretty clearly set there and I think for good reason. The one thing Pat seems to care about is somehow becoming famous. Makes sense that this takes place in LA then. B-.

When?! Exact date alert! Rarely do we get an super duper exact date and time, but that is the case for It’s Pat. As Kyle descends into madness he begins stalking Pat, including recording every minutiae of Pat’s day. In one such scene he notes that the time is August 2nd, 11:07 PM. Boom. Going out of their way for a slam dunk. B+.

It’s hard to overstate just how bad and crazy It’s Pat is. Easily one of the worst films we’ve watched… like ever. I sat in astonishment at what I was witnessing with nary a chuckle escaping my lips. Let’s expand on that thought. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Guess what? … It’s Me! Terrible joke, but this week we watched It’s Pat. Who would have thought making a movie about an SNL character who can barely sustain a five minute sketch would have been a bad idea? No one knew!! Let’s get into this pile of dog poo. Note: I will be referring to Pat as “he” for this review for simplicity’s sake, they never do reveal the character’s gender.

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – There is nearly nothing good in this film. I’ll throw a shoutout to Charles Rocket who, playing a man spiraling out of control in his obsession with Pat, it actually rather intriguing (maybe not good). But that is it. But it is time … Remake! There is the smallest nugget of okay-ness in this film, and that is the idea behind Kyle’s (Charles Rocket) obsession. I’ll get a bit more into why everyone’s quest to discover Pat’s gender is an unappealing central conflict for a film, but Kyle utters a single line which I think could have been an okay storyline. “I love you Pat, I just need to know how we fit together”. Pat plays a boor; a narcissistic, obnoxious, asshole. But if instead Pat was strangely appealing it might work. He is a weirdo, but people find him oddly calming. Perhaps he is naive, or straightforward, and his struggles to fit in are inspiring. Regardless, Kyle’s obsession is then rooted in himself. How do he and Pat fit together? Is he gay, is he in love with a man? The conflict is his self-torment. And everyone he asks, Pat’s friends and family, shrug off all inquiries: Why does it matter? Pat is Pat? Pat would be the same regardless of whether he dressed and acted more masculine or feminine. Perhaps this story works better twenty-five years on, but it certainly could be made more pleasant that what we got. Which …

The Bad (Sklognalogy) – Honestly, this movie is offensive. Everyone’s obsession with Pat’s gender comes across as weird and gross (weirder and grosser than Pat is intended to be, in many ways). Kyle’s obsession rings false because of just how big of a douchebag they make Pat out to be. It is poorly made, riddled with confusing stops and starts and flashbacks, and there isn’t really a story. A giant chunk of the middle of the film has to do with Pat playing a gig with Ween (they are somehow an enormous part of this movie!). Sklognalogy! I’m trying this out for a bit, but I’ll reach deep inside BMT and try and figure out ghosts of BMT’s past that haunt and colored my viewing of this film. Two obvious choices come to mind, straight from SNL alums. Going Overboard starring Adam Sandler has the same kind of low-quality surrealist living-cartoon-as-a-vessel-for-a-one-man-show kind of feeling to it, although It’s Pat is obviously relatively higher quality. The other is Stuart Saves His Family, which is closer to the same era of SNL films, but at least Stuart Saves His Family took a chance with the serious-family-drama-in-an-SNL-film idea. This is a blend between the two. A true SNL disaster.

BMT: Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com – StreetCreditReport.com is here to stay! First, the legacy: This might be the worst film I’ve ever seen. It is at least amazingly close. I think it will carry that torch for years to come, and I think along with Car 54 Where Are You? these films kind of exemplify bad movies of this particular era. As far as street cred, woof. #95 on the IMDb Bottom 100, and it is consistently mentioned as (by far) the worst SNL movie ever made. I’m kind of surprised it didn’t make it onto the worst films wiki page (I swear it used to be there), but it certainly would be top 3 for 1994 and top 10 for the 90s I think, if you really got into it. This is a truly weird film. Would not recommend.

I’ll close there with a very very brief BMT Homework: Do yourself a favor and watch one or two Pat skits from the early 90s. They are for reals offensive. People’s obsession with his gender is, as I said, gross and weird. The character is absurdly annoying. My year of flops gets into it a bit, but basically they seem to be correct: a ridiculous number of sketches just involve Pat meeting his doppelganger in the form of the guest for the week. It is everything that is wrong with that era of SNL: the recurring, cheap, and lazy character all rolled into one. I’ll leave it there. Cheerios, and back to you Jamie.

It’s Pat Preview

Having fully transitioned to the Calendar cycle we are once again giving ourselves a little challenge for the set of nine film. We’re going to make sure that all the films are released in different months of the year. So One Missed Call knocks off the premier month of January. For the comedy entry in the cycle we are heading to the second most vaunted month in BMT: August. Where summer blockbusters go to die. This film, though, was hardly a blockbuster. That’s right! We’re watching the mostly forgotten SNL film It’s Pat! I remember watching this as a kid and being mostly disturbed by the depiction of a man driven to madness by the mystery that is Pat’s gender. Let’s find out if we’ll be disturbed by the “comedy” once again. Let’s go!

It’s Pat: The Movie (1994) – BMeTric: 66.6 (#95 on IMDb bottom 100)

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(There it is. Barely any regression from a truly dire 2.x rating for its entire IMDb existence. This indicates it has legendary potential. I’ll also say 10K votes for a film that was barely released is pretty impressive, as is the 60+ BMeTric for a film from 1994.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Sweeney’s cheerfully obnoxious, androgynous characters from Saturday Night Live skits was never a prime candidate for feature-film stardom. If you can get through the first five minutes, you may get through the whole movie, as Pat finds true love with the equally androgynous Chris. Barely released theatrically. Sweeney coscripted.

(Yup. Interestingly understated. Saying that one can manage the movie if you can get past the first five minutes means either the first five minutes are so bad it ruins the movie (this could be our golden goose! A very similar thing happened with the truly bizarre beginning to Car 54 Where Are You?) or it means you become numb and your brain shuts off after five minutes. I’m now getting a bit more fascinated by this movie and am interested to see exactly what tone it takes.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKXbqsPhWJQ

(Mother of God. Everything terrible about television-to-film adaptations of this time rolled into a single film. I feel like the only thing that is going to be interesting about the film is the direction, which seems at times to be almost surreal. But it looks brutal. Just brutal.)

Directors – Adam Bernstein – (BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Notes: Huge television director, including being nominated for an Emmy for the television series Fargo. He directed Scrubs, 30 Rock, Breaking Bad, Californication, and Better Call Saul as well. He, like many directors, come from music videos. He directed the Baby Got Back music video for Sir Mix-a-Lot. Here’s an oral history of the project.)

Writers – Julia Sweeney (characters & written by) – (Known For: God Said, ‘Ha!’; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actress, Worst New Star, and Worst Screen Couple for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; and Nominated for Worst New Star for Stuart Saves His Family in 1996; Notes: Most well known for her time on SNL, which is where this character obviously came from. She is on several boards promoting secularism, science, and reason and is married to a scientist as well.)

Jim Emerson (written by) – (BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; Notes: Former editor of rogerebert.com and critic in Los Angeles. There isn’t much about him beyond that. Interesting that a critic got a credit on the movie, although perhaps this was before he moved into film criticism.)

Stephen Hibbert (written by) – (BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; Notes: He was married to Julia Sweeney at the time (or at least up until 1994). He was the Gimp in Pulp Fiction. We saw him act in Cat in the Hat, and his biggest credit is probably as a MadTv writer.)

Actors – Julia Sweeney – (Known For: Pulp Fiction; Monsters University; Stuart Little; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Honey I Blew Up the Kid; Don’t Come Knocking; Future BMT: Coneheads; Clockstoppers; Whatever It Takes; Vegas Vacation; Meet Wally Sparks; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Stuart Saves His Family; Notes: Her brother got very ill and died right around when this opened. Her struggles around this time resulted in her one woman show God Said, Ha! I’m not too sure how this got nominated in 1996 either since it was definitely released in 1994. So, somehow, it missed the 15th annual Razzie Awards, but got picked up a year later, which was also before its home video release in 1997. It doesn’t make sense.)

Dave Foley – (Known For: Cars; A Bug’s Life; Sky High; Blast from the Past; 3 Men and a Baby; Toy Story 2; Monsters University; South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut; Dick; Run Ronnie Run; Suck; Childstar; Future BMT: Vampires Suck; My Boss’s Daughter; Postal; On the Line; Employee of the Month; Stark Raving Mad; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Monkeybone; Grind; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screen Couple for It’s Pat: The Movie in 1996; Notes: Most well known for his role in The Kids in the Hall and Newsradio. Is also somewhat known for his more recent … low budget work, a result of his career being somewhat sidetracked while dealing with a nasty divorce in Canada.)

Charles Rocket – (Known For: Dumb and Dumber; Dances with Wolves; Titan A.E.; Earth Girls Are Easy; Short Cuts; Shade; Delirious; Future BMT: Fathers’ Day; Fly Me to the Moon; Tom and Huck; Murder at 1600; Hocus Pocus; Steal Big Steal Little; How I Got Into College; BMT: It’s Pat: The Movie; Wagons East; Notes: Also known as Charlie Hamburger, his story is pretty sad culminating in a strange suicide in 2005. He is also somewhat famous for being fired by SNL for saying “fuck” live on air.)

Budget/Gross – $8 million / Domestic: $60,822

(Absurd. Basically they did a limited release (probably because people watched it and said “yeah we can’t spend the money to release this”) and then pulled it. I’m actually not sure why they didn’t either shelve it or spit it straight to DVD. Straight to DVD would have maybe even gotten it a bit more cash since this was such a high profile bomb at the time even I, an eight-year-old, remember this coming out.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/11): No consensus yet.

(Oooh I get to make a consensus: Literally one of the worst pieces of garbage I’ve ever seen. I’m joking, but that is kind of what the critics said. One review appears to only be “Dear God…”, and another noted he wasn’t going to dignify the film with a review. Shockingly unfunny seems to be the closest you can get to a true consensus. Two 0% films in a row as well, line them up and knock them down!)

Poster – It’s Sklog (B-)

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(This looks more like the cover of a dime store paperback adaptation of the film that a poster of a film. Nice spacing, font, and a bold pink question mark that at least gives it a central color scheme. Somehow everything else is the worst thing ever.)

Tagline(s) – The Sex Symbol of the 90’s (A)

A Comedy that Proves that Love is a Many Gendered Thing (D-)

(Huge disparity between the two taglines from the poster. The first is short and clever. It uses the double meaning of sex symbol to make a joke about Pat, but also hint that the symbol in this case is more a question mark. That ties it all together with the plot. Needs the poster to fully succeed so not an A+, but very good. The second is basically the opposite of that, but doesn’t get an F because they seemed to try.)

Keyword(s) – neighbor; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.4 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 85.1 The Cat in the Hat (2003); 84.1 Movie 43 (2013); 84.0 Home Alone 3 (1997); 78.0 Superhero Movie (2008); 72.7 Are We Done Yet? (2007); 72.1 The Apparition (2012); 71.6 Bewitched (2005); 71.2 The Boy Next Door (2015); 67.1 Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006);

(In the Name of the King getting a neighbor keyword is hilarious. I guess Ron Perlman was Jason Statham’s neighbor. I find it highly unlikely that we will watch any of these other movies any time soon. Maybe Home Alone 3 if we get it to tag along with something.)

Notes – The film did so poorly that it was pulled from theaters one week after its opening weekend. (This is why it was only released to three cities and 33 theaters)

Pulp Fiction (1994), which came out in theaters seven weeks after ‘It’s Pat’ premiered, also features appearances by both Kathy Griffin and Julia Sweeney. Some critics have noted that Griffin and Sweeney both had the distinction of acting in one of the best movies of 1994, and also one of the worst movies of 1994.

Quentin Tarantino, a good friend of Julia Sweeney, worked on the script uncredited. (WHAT)

In the recurring ‘It’s Pat’ sketches on Saturday Night Live (1975), Dana Carvey portrayed Pat’s equally androgynous partner, Chris. Carvey was asked to reprise the role in this movie adaptation, but turned it down. Dave Foley was cast instead.

According to an interview with Michael De Luca, Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly worked on the script uncredited. (WHAT)

Two cameos that ended up on the cutting-room floor: Harvey Keitel as a priest and Jonathan Richman as Pat’s father.

Awards – Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Charles B. Wessler)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Julia Sweeney)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Dave Foley, Julia Sweeney)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Jim Emerson, Stephen Hibbert, Julia Sweeney)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Julia Sweeney)

One Missed Call (2008) Recap

Jamie

Welcome to the Calendar where only the best of the worst of the worst reside. And there are very few films more poorly reviewed than One Missed Call. Let’s get into it.

What?! A cursed cell phone message is killing nubile college students. Each time someone is killed a call from the future previews the next victim’s imminent death. When Beth becomes the latest player in this deadly game of phone tag she teams up with a local cop to stop the madness. Can she uncover the mystery before it’s too late? Find out in… One Missed Call.

How?! There is a very basic premise that one needs to know to get 90% of this film: People die, when they die their phone calls someone in their contacts list (from the future… bum bum bum!), that person receives a message (from the future…bum bum bum!) that contains a recording of the last moments of their life (from the future… bum bum bum!), and a few days later that person is killed (as predicted) and the cycle begins anew. The entirety of the first part of this film takes place watching as random characters in the film are killed in increasingly silly and decidedly PG-13 ways as a result of these phone calls. When our main character, Beth, finally receives the phone call she’s got enough grit and last-girl-itude to try to solve the mystery (especially after the good people at Boost Mobile are no help at all… gah! Why must their mobile plans provide so many affordable minutes?!). She teams up with Ed Burns, a cop whose sister was also killed by the phone call, to figure it out. They trace it back to a woman who died in a hospital fire after her child died of an asthma attack. They go to the hospital and find the mother’s body, finally bringing her peace and thinking they’ve stopped the madness (phew!). But alas [SPOILER ALERT] it turns out that it was actually the evil daughter who was responsible for all the death and mayhem! In a “climactic” scene Beth is saved from the evil girl ghost by the mom ghost, but Ed Burns is killed. His phone dials a spooky posthumous call and the cycle starts anew. In case you’re confused: none of this actually makes sense.

Why?! Alright, let’s try to explain why this is all happening. The ghost mom had two children. The younger girl kept on getting sick and so everyone thought the mom had Munchausen By Proxy and was doing it on purpose. When the mom discovers that her elder daughter was actually responsible she locks her in her room where she dies of an asthma attack (daannnggg, coooold Bloooddeedd). With her dying breath the daughter dials her mother’s cellphone. This begins the curse as shortly thereafter her mother is killed in the hospital fire. So you see, the motivation for the whole film is a psychotic ghost child who uses her powers of evil to kill at random as a form of revenge for her unsettled spirit. Everyone else just doesn’t want to die.

Who?! Definitely have to give a shout out to one of the kid actors in the film. The evil daughter, Ellie, is played in the flashbacks by none other than Ariel Winter of Modern Family fame. Not the first Ariel Winter film in BMT. She also appeared in Killers. I barely remember the film let alone her role in it.

Where?! Not since The Tuxedo have we seen such a concerted effort to conceal the location of a film. There are fake license plates, fake drivers licenses, and concealed addresses. That is until the very end where Beth receives a letter that claims she lives in Minniwauka, NJ 60209. While that is a mindbogglingly bad fake location and the zip points to Evanston, IL you have to give default to the state listed. This is an NJ film. Makes sense too because I’ve heard that Ed Burns can’t exist outside the tri-state area. Exact but hardly mentioned. B-.

When?! This is clear from the get go. The film opens with a call from the spooky ghost on June 9th. So we got exact details without even trying. An easy slam dunk B+. Not an A because the time of year has little relevance, but it is mentioned over and over.

If you anyone wants to watch a horror film but wants something rididididididiculously not scary then this is the ticket for you. It is laughable for much of the film and I felt like it was right on the cusp of being a really good, funny BMT film. But my opinion doesn’t matter, I’m just the details man. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! One Missed Call? More like No Script At All! Amirite. What once was old is new again was the motto of mid-2000s horror, and for a brief period they were looking for anything that sounded vaguely like The Ring. Well this one sounds exactly like The Ring except with sweet Boost flip phones. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Woof. Not much was good in this film. Dare I say nothing at all? Even Ray Wise couldn’t save it from itself. This movie was crazy bad … so let’s do a remake! A remake of a remake? That’s right. This time the evil spirit is inhabiting a smart phone, and with access to all that technology it can reach beyond the confines of its sweet but limited flip phone capabilities! Spooky. Throw out your phone? It calls you on skype! Get rid of skype, it is in your email with hangouts! No escape, as it leaps from technology to technology. And this time you actually do make a statement about the pervasive and toxic nature of our connected world, because it turns out just reshooting a mediocre J-Horror film didn’t really cut it. Slash the budget, get inventive, One Missed Call: Unlimited Data Plan (ooooof, what a terrible title).

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sins) – As I said, this movie was crazy super-bad. At a svelte 90 minutes flat the film still felt like it was 20 minutes too long. The acting was top-to-bottom an atrocity. The movie, as I said, is a shot-for-shot remake of an already-not-scary J-Horror. Its existence is questionable, its production is sloppy, and, the biggest sin, it is not even a little bit scary. They couldn’t even do jump-scares properly (I was straight laughing at times). Good-bad horror is funny, and this gets mighty close to that area. Indeed, it would have been legendary if it didn’t feel a little too long. The sin is sloth: copying The Ring, copying the original Japanese film, barely even managing to muster a single scare in the entire film. Weak.

The BMT: Legacy – I think this will go down as one of the worst actual horror films we’ve ever seen. It is worse than The Gallows … The Gallows! The only thing that comes close is something like The Devil Inside, but found horror is a whole different garbage-y animal. As far as actual horror goes, this is a decent example of a film I would trot out if someone asked to watch the worst horror film I’ve seen (competing closely with The Fog). I disliked something like Friday the 13th Part 5 more, but there is something pure and kind of fun about how much this stands alone and proclaims: I am terrible. I’ll mention a small StreetCreditReport.com here because I love it. Sadly, despite being one of the worst films ever reviewed, I can’t find much play in the worst of lists. Possibly because 2008 was incredible (The Happening, Max Payne, Mamma Mia, What Happens In Vegas, etc.), but also because people hate horror films (at least critics seem to). I certainly gets high up on my personal list. Its cred comes from the reviews though, 0% on Rotten Tomatoes is always special.

And finally word about a little BMT Homework where I watched the original One Missed Call. This was the first J-Horror I’ve ever seen. I watched The Ring, but never Ringu. This … was not a good introduction. Too long, not very spooky or scary, a silly concept, and feels like a rip-off of The Ring. Better than the remake, but still, below-average. It did get me interested in watching more though. A very different feel from the slasher genre I’ve grown to love over the past few months. I’m thinking Ringu will be on the docket when we inevitably watch Rings this Fall, and from there, who knows? Maybe I’ll fall in love with that sub-genre as well. 

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

One Missed Call (2008) Preview

We’ve made it! We’ve hit the transition from <10% RT films to our new cycle! Hooray! Our journey isn’t done yet, but the clear waters of the Calendar cycle are cleansing our palates and bringing us BMT strength. But it wouldn’t be the StreetCreditReport.com cycle without a last punch to the nuts. We’re watching one of the worst reviewed films of all time, the January 4th entry on the Calendar (and you know that’s a good date for BMT), and one of the classics in bad horror. That’s right! We’re watching the critically reviled One Missed Call. Based on the Japanese film on the same name (which was in turn based on a book), it was one of the last big J-Horror remakes released during the mid-2000s boom. It garnered the super rare 0% on RT on a startling 80 reviews. Only Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever can compare. Let’s go!

One Missed Call (2008) – BMeTric: 80.7

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(I know it is quite hard to stay sub-4.0 on IMDb, but my motto has become that the mark of a truly bad movie is that it won’t regress in the face of increased popularity. Basically everyone who watches the film ultimately kind of agrees that it is trash, there is no effect of a wider audience being more lenient. So this plot makes me wonder if One Missed Call deserves the legendary anticipation we have endowed it with. The film has the second most reviews for a movie with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, so its reputation precedes itself. But this still makes me a bit skeptical.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  What if you received a message on your cell phone from your future self, with the date and time of your death? No need to stay awake at nights wondering, as this film lets you know how some college students deal with just such a predicament. Another Americanized remake of a Japanese horror film (Takashi Miike’s Chakushin Ari) with a good cast wasted. So bad that the title invites pithy putdowns; it’s just too easy.

(Put yo money where your mouth is Leonard, I want to hear those pithy putdowns! I can imagine the NY Post headline (something like They Missed!), but I’m kind of hardpressed to think of any super good ones. One Missed Movie? Terrible. He has to be talking about the “miss” part of it, but my mind keeps coming back to “hard miss” which is at the very least a somewhat niche phrasing. The beginning of this review is just a very long winded description of the movie … which always seems to me like Leonard doesn’t like horror films and just decided to skip this one. He does seem very adamant that the film is bad though, so maybe he did watch it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1F7hJNsi5M

(That trailer looks like a shot for shot remake of the original Japanese … with maybe a bit of Final Destination thrown in. Can’t wait for it to be aggressively not spooky-scary as well. The trailer doesn’t help itself by having the weird sound effects on the writing, just grating all around.)

Directors – Eric Valette – (Known For: La proie; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: French filmmaker, so most of his films were never released widely in the US. Does a lot of French television including the Transporter series. I might have to check that out, I bet that could be pretty cool and help me learn French.)

Writers – Andrew Klavan (screenplay) – (Known For: True Crime; A Shock to the System; Future BMT: Don’t Say a Word; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: A novelist and a screenwriter he could have the unique distinction of having a BMT credit for a screenplay he wrote adapting a book (One Missed Call based on Chakushin Ari) and a credit for a novel (Don’t Say a Word) which he didn’t adapt.)

Yasushi Akimoto (novel) – (Known For: Chakushin ari; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: He is a music producer who has created some of Japan’s biggest “idol” groups including AKB48. He is the best selling lyricist in Japan with his songs exceeding $100 million in sales.)

Minako Daira (screenplay) (as Miwako Daira) – (Known For: Chakushin ari; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: What a strange filmography, just all of the One Missed Call movies. I wonder if she was the a representative for Yasushi Akimoto when adapting his book into films? Nothing about her online.)

Actors – Edward Burns – (Known For: Saving Private Ryan; The Holiday; Friends with Kids; 27 Dresses; She’s the One; Confidence: After Dark; The Brothers McMullen; Sidewalks of New York; The Groomsmen; The Fitzgerald Family Christmas; Newlyweds; Future BMT: Life or Something Like It; Echelon Conspiracy; 15 Minutes; Man on a Ledge; Ash Wednesday; No Looking Back; BMT: One Missed Call; A Sound of Thunder; Alex Cross; Notes: Ooooo, it’s a sound of thundah. The star of that classic, and now often a micro-budget director, he sponsored a screenwriting contest through the company Scripped for a crowdsourced screenplay. As this was done in 2012 … I’m not sure it will ever actually happen.)

Shannyn Sossamon – (Known For: A Knight’s Tale; The Holiday; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; The Rules of Attraction; Wristcutters: A Love Story; The End of Love; Life Is Hot in Cracktown; Road to Nowhere; Future BMT: Sinister 2; The Sin Eater; 40 Days and 40 Nights; The Day; Our Family Wedding; Undiscovered; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: Sister of singer Jenny Lee Lindberg, and was a part of her band Warpaint before leaving to focus on acting. She studies dance in Los Angeles as well.)

Ana Claudia Talancón – (Known For: Fast Food Nation; El crimen del padre Amaro; Alone with Her; Sueño; The Dry Land; Future BMT: Love in the Time of Cholera; Enter the Dangerous Mind; BMT: One Missed Call; Notes: A Mexican actress and model. Nearly all of her credits are in Mexican cinema.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $26,890,041 (Worldwide: $45,847,751)

(Pretty solid bomb domestic, but maybe a return worldwide. Hard to tell. The budget seems inflated though, $20 million is quite high for a horror film like this. They were probably trying for some of that sweet Ring money which made about five times as much.)

#76 for the Horror – Supernatural genre

onemissedcall_supernaturalhorror

(Awesome graph. After dying off in the late 90s (the horror bust perhaps?) it came back with a vengeance with The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project in 1999. The return is still going strong, where the screens these films are getting go up and up and yet the average per screen take is just about level. Although … that might change with Rings and The Bye Bye Man being among this year’s crop. With Right around last year’s The Forest.)

#35 for the Horror Remake genre

onemissedcall_horrorremake

(Comes right at the peak. I think we also have a bit more insight into maybe why the 00s are the Golden Age: remakes? This peak kind of perfectly covers the biggest years from around 2005-2010. The Ring kicked off the J-Horror remakes in 2002, but there hasn’t been a remake since 2015 according to Box Office Mojo. They’ll go back to the well eventually, I’m sure of it. This comes in several spots below The Fog … not a good look.)

#15 for the Remake – Asian genre

onemissedcall_asianremake

(Same as above basically, big right after The Ring, but basically died off as original (micro budget) horror came back into style. With VOD likely being a big destination for horror in the future I would doubt budgets would allow for expensive IP buys, but who knows? This comes definitely below future BMT The Eye starring Jessica Alba.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 0% (0/80): One of the weakest entries in the J-horror remake sweepstakes, One Missed Call is undone by bland performances and shopworn shocks.

(uh oh, I’ll do a little on-the-fly translation for you: “This movie is not-scary and boring”. Just great. It apparently is so boring everyone just totally agreed and gave it a bad review. Please be wrong Cynical Patrick, please.)

Poster – One Missed Sklog (C+)

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(I don’t love the poster (particularly the cheesy screaming mouths for eyes), but it doesn’t do a lot wrong either. Coloring is fine and spacing is good. Could have been more creative with the font. Slightly better than average.)

Tagline(s) – What will it sound like when you die? (B-)

(Well… hopefully it’ll sound like I’m dying peacefully surrounded by loved ones… … … Oh, was that a rhetorical question?)

Keyword(s) – death; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Epic Movie (2007); 95.6 Meet the Spartans (2008); 94.3 Batman & Robin (1997); 94.1 Battlefield Earth (2000); 93.2 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 89.9 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 89.6 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.0 The Wicker Man (2006); 88.0 House of the Dead (2003); 87.6 Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966);

(This is just the list of the worst films according to the BMeTric. Death as a keyword is legit on something like 10000 films.)

Notes – Guillermo del Toro was offered the chance to direct, but turned it down to work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008). (Good choice … well, maybe this movie would be better, but I liked Hellboy II)

Not screened for critics. (They just thought the critics would be too spooky scared I bet)

While in preparation for the film, director Eric Valette never watched the original Japanese version Chakushin ari (2003), and asked the actors not to watch it either. (… I don’t believe you. The trailer contains like a dozen identical situations as the original film. “But Patrick, maybe they adapted the book instead”. Bullshit, the book has never been translated to English. This stinks Mr. Valette, stinks of deception)

Out of 79 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, none of of them have been positive resulting in an abysmal 0% rating as of 2015. Rotten Tomatoes awarded the film the Mouldy Tomato award for the worst reviewed film of 2008 as a result. (Yes, this is why we are doing this)

On August 2006 Ed Harris and Gabriel Byrne were both cast in undisclosed roles for the film but both dropped out due to unknown circumstances. (Maybe they read the script. Zing)

Rotten Tomatoes declared the film to be the second worst film of the 2000’s, coming behind Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002). (Which has 0% and over 100 reviews. We’ll watch it (again) eventually. It is a very strange movie. Nothing has made less sense than Ballistic did to me when I watched it)

The project was filmed in 2006 and was scheduled to be released on August 24, 2007. The film, however, was later pushed back to January 4, 2008. (Probably when people watched it. Also, a horror film in August, terrible idea. Should have been slated for October).

Was the last Japanese horror remake to be theatrically released ever since the trend started with The Ring (2002) and ended with this film in 2008. (Wow, I genuinely didn’t realize that. That is awesome. I wonder how many J-Horror remakes were released in that time.)

The 508 area code is from South Eastern, Massachusetts. (Promising settings lead, thanks IMDb)

Every single character in this film is seen using a Boost Mobile flip phone. (gross).

The Whole Ten Yards Recap

Jamie

As we crawl desperately through the wasteland that is <10% RT films, the scorching sun of The Whole Ten Yards beats down on us. I think fondly of Here on Earth for a moment and wonder what films may be beyond the horizon. The oasis of our next cycle is so close, and yet one long (oh, so long) recap of The Whole Ten Yards still stands in our way. Can we make it? Or will BMT die in this desert of dog poo? Let’s find out.

What?! Jimmy ‘The Tulip’ is back, Jack! After years in hiding, Jimmy seems to have lost his edge. But when his ex-wife, Cynthia, is kidnapped by vengeful mobsters he joins up with his erstwhile friend Oz to get her back. Can he stop the bad guys, save the girl, and perhaps pull one last big job before it’s too late? Find out in… The Whole Ten Yards.

How?! When we last saw our friends from The Whole Nine Yards, Jimmy had fallen for Jill, Oz had fallen for Cynthia, and they both had come into a bucketful of cash. Flash forward four years and Oz is a successful dentist in LA and he and Cynthia are living it up. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Jill are driving each other crazy hiding out in Mexico. Draaaaammmmaaaa (may as well be an alternate title for this film). Just when Oz learns that Cynthia is pregnant, the head of the Chicago mob, Lazlo, comes to LA to get revenge for Oz’s part in the events of the first film. Oz manages to escape to Mexico but Cynthia is kidnapped and there is only one person he can turn to for help, Jimmy. Oz and Jimmy team up once again and travel back to LA. There they kidnap Lazlo’s son, drink a whole mess of delicious Carlsberg beers, and deal with enough family drama to fill a soap opera (Jimmy and Jill want a baby, Jimmy is experiencing decreased libido, Jill is concerned that Jimmy’s still in love with Cynthia, Jill is concerned she’s not a good enough hitman etc. etc. etc). Using Lazlo’s son as leverage they coerce their way into the mobster’s hideout and [SUPER TWIST ALERT!] reveal that Jimmy and Cynthia has orchestrated the whole thing! Jimmy is actually Lazlo’s son and knows the secret to his fortune! They manage to subdue Lazlo, send him back to jail, and get the money. Hooray! Oh and Jill is suddenly pregnant. Double hooray!

Why?! Jimmy and Cynthia are in it for the sweet, sweet cash monies. Knowing that Lazlo will come after them once he’s out of jail they manufacture an unnecessarily complex scheme to trick everyone they love into risking their lives for the cash. Oz, of course, falls for it because he’s a sweet man who loves Cynthia. The mobsters just want blood and never really suspect that they’re getting played. The motivations are actually simple… it’s just the plot that ends up super convoluted.

Who?! Got to give a little shout out to Bruce Willis’ daughter Tallulah who shows up as a girl scout selling cookies in one of the opening scenes. Not to disparage a child but she’s not good. Like Marten Weiner in Mad Men not good (deep cut nepotism reference). The line reading just doesn’t make sense. She stresses random syllables like she’s reading the lines phonetically. I guess this is our one and only lesson: nepotism doesn’t always work. Who would have thought.

Where?! The Whole Nine Yards had the amazing and super rare setting of Montreal. Even shot on location. The second one also really wanted you to know where you were at all time. We split time between Mexico and LA with a slight edge to LA in the end. Solid without being necessary. B.

When?! Two different newspapers were shown up close. The first gave us a date of November 2003 for the film. The second seemed like it could yield an exact day, but I would need to see a higher quality version of the film to confirm anything. Almost a B. C+ instead.

Our lips are parched and yet there is no respite. Just dog poo everywhere. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone? The Whole Ten Yards? More like … Time to Discard? I can’t even think of a good NY Post headline … Zero out of Ten? Nine Yards Short? I tried looking up some etymology but … turns out it is a riddle! Seems to maybe come from a similar origin as “dressed to the nines” which itself is not really known. Anywho, is this movie dog poo in my face? Close at least. It is quite the mess. Let’s get into it, work through this riddle together!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – Hmmmm. The cloud that represents the plot of this film is somehow quite simple to follow, which is nice. It also got me to watch The Whole Nine Yards, which held up far better than I expected it to. Linear, but still entertaining with two charming leads. Has anyone ever remade a sequel before!? Remake: Totally ignore that the other sequel exists, go back to Montreal, and, and this would be controversial, dump Matthew Perry. Instead, you see Tudeski trying to save Jill who, still moonlighting as an assassin, has landed herself in hot water. Jimmy teams up with a taxi driver who, ultimately, becomes a kind of getaway driver (similar to how Oz’s dental skills were the perfect skill Jimmy needed to resolve his troubles in the previous film). And yes … Kevin Hart is the taxi driver. The Whole Nine Yards 2: License to Drive. Amazingly terrible title.

The Bad (Seven Deadly Sklogs) – Uh, those charming characters from the first film are now lost to Flanderization, including Jimmy who they managed to invent a trait to Flanderize him towards (cooking / cleaning / being a house husband). The storyline makes no sense. Kevin Pollack is just weird playing the father of the character he played in the first film (interesting if misguided idea). The twist is telegraphed, the motivations are ludicrous, and it comes across as a carbon copy of the original. I still don’t quite know if this is dog poo in my face … this is a bit closer to where something like Old Dogs is, which is thoroughly perplexing to a degree where you are just sitting there thinking “why is any of this happening?”. It has a fantastic gay panic scene too. Like The Medallion level gay panic. Dog poo in my face is a punch in the gut, like Strange Wilderness. It is like someone shoving dog poo in my face. It feels different. Oh … the sin is greed obviously. They wanted to cash in on that sweet franchise money yo.

The BMT: Legacy – I do think this gets pretty close to a rare spot for a comedy, which is a good-bad comedy. A tad bit boring and slow, but enough of the movie is ridiculously melodramatic,and the plot line is so perplexing, and Pollack’s performance is so over-the-top, that, for me, it gets to a place where I could watch it again and think it is just as funny-bad. It helps that the original Whole Nine Yards is a solid early-2000s comedy. Gives a little extra help there since this is probably a quintessential example of taking characters to extremes and reusing old jokes. I think it has decent legs ultimately when we reflect on 2017.

And finally the StreetCreditReport.com. Not surprisingly this actually does quite well in the amazingly crowded 2004 bad movie lists. The Movie Blog ranked it an impressive number 4! And Ebert had it as his 9th worst film of the year. Previously we watched Godsend as another 2004 film and it got no play, but this film is a genuinely perplexing catastrophe, so I think the praise is well deserved.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs